For sales:  1300 352 734Login

How to run a financial literacy workshop for employees

We constantly hear about the importance of financial wellbeing. But how can we actually help our employees achieve this state? The answer lies in building up their financial literacy. While there are many ways to accomplish this, we believe that workshops are one of the most powerful approaches to financial education. In this post, we’ll share recommendations on how to run impactful financial literacy workshops for your employees. 

What is financial literacy, and why is it so important? 

Before we dive in, let’s explore exactly what financial literacy is and why it’s foundational to achieving financial health. Financial literacy is having the knowledge to make informed financial decisions. This can be anything from understanding how to invest at the right times to knowing how to save toward a significant milestone like a house or a car.

A lack of financial literacy is a significant problem in Australia. A survey found that fewer than half of all Australians could answer five basic financial questions correctly. The reason why this is significant is because low levels of financial literacy translates to poor financial health.

That same survey found that poverty rates among the least financially literate are twice as high compared to the most financially literate. People with lower financial literacy are also less likely to participate in household budget decisions, tend not to save as much money, and are more vulnerable to financial stress – a factor that costs Australian businesses an estimated $31.1 billion per year in lost revenue.

Related article: 5 Ways to help your employees improve their financial wellbeing

Steps to run a financial literacy workshop for employees

One of the best ways you, as the employer, can help combat these low rates of financial literacy is with education. Workshops, in particular, are a great way to get your employees engaged in their financial education. Not only are workshops interactive, but also having a large group of people at your organisation participate in them can make learning about finances less intimidating for others. 

1. Identify your employees’ needs

Before you design your financial literacy workshop, it’s important to understand exactly what your employees want to gain from the experience. That’s why we recommend distributing a short survey ahead of time to figure out what your workforce most wants to learn from the workshop. This will help you design a curriculum that’s truly valuable. 

For example: perhaps your workforce feels most urgently about learning how to save money – especially given the current circumstances with COVID-19. Instead, you host a workshop that’s solely focused on investing because you made an assumption about what would be interesting to the company. As a result, you disincentivise employees from joining future workshops since they’re not addressing their most pressing needs. 

2. Craft a workshop series that addresses these needs

Once you have a clear understanding of what your employees want to gain from the workshop, it’s time to use that feedback to craft your workshop series. Outside of the content, there are other considerations to think about as well. Use the questions below to guide the design of your workshop:

  • How many workshops will there be in total? 
  • How long will each workshop be?
  • What will be the cadence of these workshops (bi-weekly, monthly, etc.)?
  • How will we accommodate for employees in different time zones?

Make sure to answer these questions from the perspective of what’s best for your employees. So if you know many of your employees have young children, try to schedule shorter sessions that happen at a reasonable time of day. Or, better yet, have multiple session options so people can choose a time that’s best for their schedules.

Related article: 10 Ideas to help you boost your employee engagement

3. Choose a top-notch facilitator

It’s critical to choose an engaging, professional, and knowledgeable facilitator for your workshop sessions. Facilitators are trained to lead conversations about various financial subjects, but they’re not necessarily certified accountants or financial advisors. 

There are a few criteria to take into consideration when choosing a facilitator. Choose an individual who has expertise in the specific topic you want to address – whether that’s budgeting or investment portfolios. Similarly, make sure they have experience facilitating in a virtual environment since most of us are still working remotely. The last thing you want is to hire someone who is uncomfortable on video calls and ends up leading an unproductive session. 

4. Set expectations

It’s important to be clear with your employees about what they’ll gain from these workshops. You don’t want them to go into the experience thinking they’ll receive personalised financial advice from their facilitator. Instead, in all your communication about the workshop, let people know that the purpose of these workshops is to gain a basic understanding of important financial subjects. If they want additional resources to improve their sense of financial wellbeing, there are certainly ways you can support them! But these financial literacy workshops are solely for general education. 

5. Build anticipation around the workshop

Now that you have the financial literacy workshops scheduled and in place, how do you get your employees to actually join? In addition to announcing the workshop at your next all-hands meeting, there are other creative tactics you can implement to build anticipation around the workshop: 

  • Set up catchy Slack reminders about the upcoming workshop
  • Incentivise participation by offering a random prize drawing for those who join
  • Ask the CEO to join and encourage participation 
  • Communicate the benefits that come with increasing financial literacy 
  • Take photos (or screenshots) and create a “teaser” video after the first workshop to encourage more people to join for the next one

6. Follow up with a survey

Finally, just as we started the financial literacy workshop with a survey, we want to end with one too. After the first session, ask your employees how they felt about the experience. Specifically, did they gain value from it? If not, what could have been improved? Also ask questions about the facilitator to make sure they’re the right fit for your workforce. You can then use all the feedback you collect to make adjustments before your next workshop. 

Workshops are a fantastic way to help your employees with their financial literacy and, in turn, improve their sense of financial wellbeing. Use the steps we outlined above to run a financial literacy workshop that will be impactful for both your workers and your business. 

If you have any employees who are in need of support, be sure to check out Wellness@Work, a free hub designed to support HR and Australian workers by giving them access to free content.

If you’re looking for an additional HR software to support your business, Flare offers a free onboarding software with employee management and benefits. To learn more, please request a demo.

What is a novated lease and how does it work? Here’s everything you need to know

We’re always trying to think of the best benefits to offer our employees. Ones that will either relieve or solve a pain point they’re facing and generally make their lives easier. A benefit that you may not have considered yet, but checks both of these boxes, is a novated lease.

If you’re unfamiliar with this concept, don’t worry! In this post, we’ll explain exactly what a novated lease is, what the benefits are, and what this financial offering looks like in action.  

What is a novated lease? 

In the simplest terms: a novated lease allows employees to finance a new or used car by having their employer make payments out of their salary package with pre-tax deductions. These payments include the cost of running expenses as well, such as maintenance, insurance, and petrol.

In other words, it’s a deal between an employee, a finance provider, and an employer to lease a vehicle. The key word here is lease. As you might be aware, this is a bit different from renting or owning a car. With a lease, your employee is paying down a certain amount for a specified period of time (usually anywhere from one to five years). At the end of the lease period, they can choose to take out a new lease with a different car, extend the existing lease, or buy the car by paying the residual amount.  

You may be wondering: why should I offer my employees a novated lease when they can just finance their own cars? This is a great question. As you’ll see in the next section, a novated lease comes with many benefits. 

The benefits of a novated lease 

There are many upsides that come with offering a novated lease – for both the company and your employees. Let’s dive into some of the top benefits below: 

For employees

  • Tax savings. Of course, the biggest advantage to a novated lease is the tax break! Since the novated lease payments are coming out of your employee’s pre-tax income, that means your employee’s taxable income will be significantly reduced. Your employees also don’t have to pay the goods and services tax (GST) that they would normally have to if they were buying a car themselves. As a result, they’ll have much more disposable income to spend in other areas of their life. 
  • Less logistics. Another benefit of the novated lease over other methods of financing a car is the reduction in logistics. Instead of having to manage multiple payments – from monthly loans to car maintenance expenses – everything is simplified into a single monthly deduction from your employee’s paycheck. And since the process is largely managed by the employer and the finance provider, your employee doesn’t have to stress about budgeting or scheduling payments. 
  • Flexibility. A novated lease also gives your employees more flexibility. At the end of their lease, employees can choose to upgrade to a different type of vehicle, brand, or style since they don’t own the car. For example, if their family grows, they can opt to start a new lease for a larger car to accommodate their needs. Similarly, if the employee ends up loving the car they leased, they can also choose to buy that car by paying off the remaining cost.

For employers

  • More talent. Offering a novated lease is a great way to stand out from the competition when it comes to attracting new talent. It’s a fantastic benefit that will help employees save money and demonstrates that your organisation cares about their financial wellbeing. The best part? It costs you very little to do so – especially compared to alternative options like managing a company fleet. 
  • Low risk. Another great benefit is that there’s very little risk to your business with a novated lease. Vehicles under this agreement aren’t considered an asset or liability to your company. Plus, the vehicle doesn’t become your responsibility if your employee decides to leave before the end of the lease. 

How does a novated lease work? 

Now that you have a clearer understanding of the novated lease, let’s talk about what it looks like in action. At Flare, we offer a novated lease option that employers can register their workforce for. Once you’re signed up, the steps to get your employees set up with a novated lease are fairly straightforward:

  1. Check eligibility. If your employee wants to take advantage of the company’s novated lease benefit, you just have to make sure they’re eligible! Eligibility requirements tend to differ depending on the organisation. For instance, some employers don’t extend the benefit to casual workers since their pay tends to fluctuate. Once you’ve determined that your employee qualifies, give them the thumbs up to pick a car!
  1. Enter into a lease agreement. As we mentioned before, this will be a three-way agreement between you, your employee, and a finance provider. At this step, you’ll decide things like how much of the employee’s pre-tax salary will be taken out for the repayments under the novated lease, how long the lease is for, etc. There’s also some paperwork that will need to be completed, such as the finance lease agreement and the novation agreement.
  1. Make repayments on behalf of your employee. Once all the details of the lease are settled, all you have to do is make sure to set up the deductions from your employee’s pre-tax salary and make repayments directly to the finance provider. Aside from that, the car is largely your employee’s responsibility. They will come to you if they have additional questions or concerns.

As you can see, the novated lease is a great benefit to consider adding to your employee offerings. Not only does it give your workforce a flexible financing option for a car, but it also provides them with many additional benefits like tax savings and reduced stress around the logistics of owning a car. If you’re curious to learn more, check out Flare Cars for more information.

A guide on how to onboard new employees remotely

As COVID-19 continues to keep employees remote, companies have to start thinking about how to adapt their HR processes accordingly. One of the most important experiences to consider is employee onboarding. The type of onboarding program you have in place has a significant impact on factors like new hire retention and productivity. In fact, a study found that a structured onboarding experience resulted in 69% of employees being more likely to stay with a company for three years and 50% greater new-hire productivity. 

While being remote does present some challenges to the onboarding process, we believe there are things you can do to make it just as strong as one that’s in person. Below, we outlined a five-step process to help you get your new hires onboarded remotely: 

1. Start with preboarding 

Many employers wait until the new hire’s first day to start the onboarding process. But there’s actually a step that comes before that called preboarding. The purpose of this step is to get your new hires up-to-speed before they start their new roles so they don’t feel overwhelmed on their first day. Preboarding activities have also been found to increase first-year retention by as much as 80 percent. These activities can include:

  • Filling out documents (employment contracts, super information, etc.)
  • Reviewing benefits options
  • Collecting personal information (employee’s favorite snack, personal hobbies, etc.)

To help companies manage this process remotely, Flare has a free digital onboarding software that lets you add new employees to your ATS, generate documents, and gives your new hires a seamless way to auto-sign contracts and share important information with the company. 

Related article: 10 Ideas to help you boost your employee engagement

2. Create a warm welcome experience 

Once you have all the preboarding logistics squared away, you can focus on creating a warm welcome experience for your new employee’s first day. Since your team won’t be able to take them out to a welcome lunch or greet them in person, it’s important to find other ways to make them feel excited about their new job. Below are a few ideas you can try:

  • Send a welcome card that’s been digitally signed by the CEO, their manager, and their new team members
  • Gift the new hire with a prepaid card to their neighbourhood cafe; They can grab a coffee and get to know their teammates through virtual hangout sessions
  • Host a virtual welcome party with the whole team
  • Ship a ‘welcome pack’ that contains the new employee’s favorite treats, movies, or board games

The last thing you want is for your new hire to feel isolated on their first day. These ideas will help your employees feel like they’re already part of the team and get them excited about their new company – even when they’re not physically at the office!

3. Establish a support system 

Any employee’s first day can feel a bit scary – especially when they’re remote and don’t have the luxury of asking the person sitting next to them a question or getting to know people over lunch. To make sure they feel supported from day one, it’s important to establish a system that they can turn to if they have questions, need help, or simply want to feel more integrated into the company. Here’s how:

  • Set your new employee up with a designated buddy. This is their go-to person if they have any questions, need someone to chat with over a virtual lunch, or simply want to learn more about the company 
  • Create a Slack channel for new hires. At Flare, we have one called #newbies that contains helpful resources and is a dedicated space where new employees can feel safe asking questions 
  • Encourage the new hire’s manager check in with them frequently during the first 30 days to make sure the transition is going smoothly 

Related article: 5 Ways to help your employees improve their financial wellbeing

4. Run induction sessions

In addition to helping your new hires feel socially integrated, you want to make sure they understand the various aspects of the business as well. This is where virtual induction sessions can be helpful. The purpose of these sessions is to meet with different leaders within the organisation – from the CEO to the Head of Engineering – so they can better understand how the business operates. 

Not only that, but induction sessions can help new employees put faces to names and develop a clearer view of how their specific role contributes to the broader mission of your company. This allows new hires to recognise that they’re a valuable part of the organisation and helps them find a sense of meaning in their work. 

5. Collect feedback 

Finally, remember that your onboarding process doesn’t end after 30 or 60 days. There are ways to continuously iterate on and improve your program – especially if your remote onboarding process is brand new. The best way to do this is to distribute an onboarding survey to new hires after they go through the experience. This provides an opportunity for them to share feedback on what worked, what didn’t, and how they felt coming out of the onboarding process – all valuable input that you can use to strengthen your existing program.

As you can see, a powerful employee onboarding experience can have a significant impact on your business. Thankfully, there are ways to make sure this process is effective, welcoming, and informative – even when doing so remotely. Follow our recommendations to make sure your onboarding process goes as smoothly as possible for your new remote employees.

To learn more about Flare’s free digital onboarding software, and how it can save you on time and paperwork, request a demo here.